Heavenly basks in El Nino’s wet winter
Sunday not only was Mother’s Day, but the closing day of the mother of all seasons for Heavenly Ski Resort.
“This was an excellent year for us,” said John Wagnon, vice president of marketing. “The weather and the timing was perfect.”
Heavenly opened Oct. 25, the earliest date skiers hit the slopes in the resort’s 42-year history. The closing date proved to be no different.
“It was the earliest opening and latest closing date in our history. Even though we had so many storms in February, it still set us up for excellent spring skiing,” Wagnon said.
While many other resorts suffered from low weekend turnouts in February due to storms rolling through the area on Fridays, Heavenly was able to maintain a consistently strong base of skiers and snowboarders.
“We actually did well in February,” said Wagnon, pointing out that the spring skiing conditions were the best he has seen in his memory. “A lot of our business is from out of state, so they are coming anyway. They are coming from Florida or Chicago, or from out of the country, so we are not impacted as much as the resorts who rely more on travelers from, say, the Bay Area.”
While Heavenly doesn’t publicly release its total numbers for the season, Wagnon said it was an exceptional one. Attendance in the Learn-To-Ski program, which caters to first-time skiers and snowboarders, was up “sharply.”
The fact that so many young and old outdoor enthusiasts are picking up the sport is a good sign, Wagnon pointed out.
As for this season, it is one Wagnon will not soon forget.
“There were excellent snow conditions all season. It kept getting better and better, even in February and March,” he said.
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